Surface Forces: March 19, 2003


The U.S. Navy is decommissioning the 26 year old destroyer Radford and rebuilding it as a test bed for a new generation of warships known now as "DDX" (Destroyer Experimental"). Starting in 2004, the Radford will spend a year being modified to have an integrated power system, a major new design innovation for future warships. This will allow rapid reconfiguration of power, reduced acoustic noise, and greater flexibility in ship design. A superstructure made of composites (that don't show up on radar well at all) will be built and tested, as well as a lot of other new equipment. Much of the new stuff is still under development, so being able to install it in a ship and test it at sea will help avoid errors in how the new gear is ultimately configured for widespread use.


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